Competition / Antitrust
Romania's EU accession and rapidly expanding economy have combined to produce unprecedented levels of acquisition activity, with a corresponding increase in competition oversight.
Whether it be a foreign investor entering the Romanian market or an existing player expanding here, European Union and Romanian competition rules are no longer after-thoughts, but rather integral parts of any transaction. Companies acting in neglect of these rules are doing so at the risk of far-reaching consequences.
Sound antitrust advice comes from experts only, based on substantial experience and a deep understanding of the client industry and the ever-evolving nature of competition law; the Biriş Goran team has an impressive track record in complex and sophisticated antitrust matters. Our experience covers a wide range of business sectors and products, including:
- cement, steel and construction materials
- fast moving consumer goods
- perfumery products
- property and media
We represent clients in complex antitrust investigations, including industry-wide sectoral investigations. Our competition partner, Gelu Goran, has represented both fast moving consumer goods and “old economy” clients in price fixing and tacit collusion investigations.
We offer extensive and practical business experience in the antitrust issues faced by Romanian and international clients in their relationships with suppliers, customers and competitors. We advise on exclusive dealing arrangements, pricing issues including recommended resale prices, price discounts, rebates and promotional allowances, licensing, joint ventures, territorial restrictions, and exclusive distribution and selective distribution.
We assist clients with antitrust compliance issues and advise clients on a day-to-day basis regarding business transactions and arrangements that may raise antitrust and competition issues. We also conduct antitrust audits, including forensics and digital investigations, and implement for our clients customized compliance programs, seminars and in-house training sessions for their top management and key employees, in order to minimize the potential risks of anticompetitive practices and behavior.
We efficiently guide our clients through the Romanian merger control process so that their acquisitions and mergers are timely completed. Our competition partner, Gelu Goran, has an impressive track record and outstanding experience coordinating pre-merger advice and efficiently clearing Romanian mergers.
Recent major mandates include:
Ongoing advice for UniCredit Bank and UniCredit Leasing Corporation in a Competition Council investigation focusing on an information exchange on the financial leasing market (November 2017);
Ongoing advice for ASLO, the Romanian leasing association, in the context of a Competition Council investigation focusing on an information exchange on the operational leasing market (November 2017);
Assisted Honda Trading Europe, for a comprehensive antitrust audit of its Romanian operations (July and August 2017);
Ongoing advice to a major multinational media company in an investigation of market sharing and price fixing on the Romanian market for film distribution (November 2016);
Advised Weatherford in the first leniency case completed by the Competition Council for bid-rigging in the energy sector (2015). This follows our involvement as Romanian counsel for Vita Foam’s successful European Commission leniency filing (the Polyurethane foam cartel case, 2014);
Successfully represented Procter & Gamble in the context of a Competition Council investigation on the market of collective systems of management of waste electrical and electronic equipment. The investigation was concluded with Procter & Gamble not being held liable for infringing the competition rules while other 10 international companies were fined with a total EUR 12.7 million (2008 – 2014);
Advised JTI in the context of a Competition Council investigation focusing on alleged price fixing on the cigarettes sector. The investigation was terminated by the Competition Council with JTI not being held liable for infringing the competition rules (2010 – 2014);
Successfully represented UniCredit Bank in the context of a Competition Council investigation focusing on an alleged cartel arrangement on the inter-banking (monetary) and banking markets. The investigation was terminated by the RCC with UniCredit not being held liable for infringing the competition rules (2008 – 2013);
Advised Nestlé with respect to a Competition Council investigation on the food retail market. The authority dropped charges against Nestlé while other 26 producers and retailers were fined with a total EUR 35 million (2008 – 2014);
Advised Delaco (member of Savencia Group) with respect to a Competition Council investigation on the food retail market during a settlement procedure and secured the second lowest fine received by any of the producers investigated (2014);
Successfully represented Ameropa Grains in connection with a Competition Council investigation for alleged price-fixing on the grains trading markets (2013 – 2017); and
Ongoing advice or competition matters on various M&A transactions.